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Bullying can occur in any environment (municipal, community, healthcare, education, social services, recreation and sports environments, etc.). All the workers (professionals, volunteers, administrators, etc.) who offer direct support to the public thus potentially have a role to play in promoting civility, preventing bullying or encouraging intervention, regardless of the clientele served (persons with disabilities, seniors, members of ethnocultural minorities, etc.).

Possible interventions by workers

  • Promote prosocial behaviours, civility and respect for diversity because bullying is often rooted in prejudice and intolerance of differences.
  • Focus interventions for very young children, particularly those attending educational childcare services, on prevention through the adoption of empathetic, cooperative and prosocial behaviours, since at that age, bullying is not an issue.
  • Know how to recognize bullying (see the definition of bullying, applicable legislative framework and glossary of related phenomena).
  • Become aware of your own behaviours and the model you set for others as an adult, particularly for the youngest children.
  • Agree collectively, in each environment, on the behaviours to adopt to foster good citizenship and maintain harmonious relations.
  • Establish each person's roles and responsibilities regarding the need to intervene if cases nonetheless occur.
  • Avoid trivialization of bullying and foster safe and confidential reporting of bullying.
  • Obtain information from the targeted individuals on the effects that the observed acts had on them. Bullying exists only if the person targeted by the acts is affected by them. Otherwise, the attempt at bullying has failed. Nonetheless, it remains important to take action with the perpetrators of the acts to prevent them from seeking other targets or, if their acts are repeated, to prevent them from affecting the person concerned.
  • Develop the self-esteem and assertiveness of the victimized persons or targeted individuals, to put an end to the current bullying or help them protect themselves against potential acts.
  • Make the witnesses aware of the importance of their role and the influence they can have in putting a stop to the acts at which they are present.
  • Ensure that the witness who has acted does not become a target of bullying in turn after his/her intervention.
  • Immediately make the perpetrator of the potentially bullying acts or words aware of their potential scope, the danger of affecting the targeted individual and the consequences of bullying.
  • Propose alternative behaviours to the perpetrators of bullying acts.
  • Provide support adapted to the characteristics of each clientele, and adjust the approach according to the special needs. For example, for some persons with disabilities or autism, this may involve helping them recognize bullying situations that they may not always be able to understand otherwise.
  • Report acts of bullying involving a criminal component, such as theft or violence, to the management of the institution or the police.

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Last modified date :
June 16, 2021